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Old 16-12-2014, 12:31   #1
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Is a Dynaplate worth it for HF SSB?

Has anyone who has installed a Dynaplate checked their SSB performance with and without it hooked up? $500 plus another hull penetration seems extreme if it isn't giving a 10 db improvement or lowering the noise floor.

I expect I'll be using a 23' marine hf fiberglass vertical and running radials as best as can be done along with my automatic tuner, but if there is a better way on a small 30' powerboat, I'm all ears.
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Old 16-12-2014, 12:47   #2
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Re: Is a Dynaplate worth it for HF SSB?

I have a dyna plate that I've decided not to use when I eventually install HF on my tiny boat.

I've done more than my share of radio installs both commercial marine installations and as an extra class amateur. After looking at a dynaplate, not only is it another hole but also a possible source for electrolysis if things go wonky.

Anyway, my plan is to set up my antenna and ground radials and test it like that then attach a length of chain to a ground radial and toss it overboard and run another batch of tests (noise, antnna bandwidth, and try running some marine DX for a while.) If a short length of chain makes a measurable difference I'll reconsider leaving it off.
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Old 16-12-2014, 14:09   #3
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Re: Is a Dynaplate worth it for HF SSB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MBWhite View Post
I have a dyna plate that I've decided not to use when I eventually install HF on my tiny boat.

I've done more than my share of radio installs both commercial marine installations and as an extra class amateur. After looking at a dynaplate, not only is it another hole but also a possible source for electrolysis if things go wonky.

Anyway, my plan is to set up my antenna and ground radials and test it like that then attach a length of chain to a ground radial and toss it overboard and run another batch of tests (noise, antnna bandwidth, and try running some marine DX for a while.) If a short length of chain makes a measurable difference I'll reconsider leaving it off.
Please keep me posted as to your results. I'm tempted to buy the KISS along with a Shakespeare 23' whip and just set it up on my balcony along with my SGC SG-230 tuner to test first hand. As a HAM for almost 50 years I have my doubts about the KISS, but for $150 I think I'll give it a try. If it doesn't play at least as well as a mobile HF antenna on my motorhome I'll send it back and see if KISS stills advertises "no one has ever returned one".
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Old 16-12-2014, 14:41   #4
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Talking Re: Is a Dynaplate worth it for HF SSB?

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"no one has ever returned one".
I got a kiss ground plane a while back and I still haven't returned it.
Had it about a year now and its still in the plastic wrapper
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Old 16-12-2014, 16:38   #5
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Re: Is a Dynaplate worth it for HF SSB?

Had a Dyna Plate ground on my previous boat. Worked just fine talking to Malibu from Moorea. Current boat, ran copper tape along the underside of the deck walkways down both sides and it has worked just fine sailing to Hawaii. Bought a Kiss Ground Plane but haven't tried it to see if it works any better than the copper tape.

If I understand the science correctly, the ground needed for radio transmissions is not the same as a ground for an electrical connection. It doesn't have to be connected to the water though will work if it is. Official term is Ground Plane not just a Ground.
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Old 17-12-2014, 09:26   #6
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Re: Is a Dynaplate worth it for HF SSB?

having crossed the pacific several times before the invention of satellites. we have taken copper screen and used it as the floor sole in the lazarette. we tab glued it down with epoxy at the corners then covers it with gel coat. works great solder your ground strap to one corner with silver solder you can walk on it.


I have also seen the entire floor sole of a cal 2 27 done in a similar manner with carpet over it
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Old 17-12-2014, 09:30   #7
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Re: Is a Dynaplate worth it for HF SSB?

I got a KISS ground plane installed in my boat with isolated backstay antenna , automatic ICOM tuner and HF Icom 706 with Pactor ex.
We crossed the atlantic last summer (west to east) and were able to download gribs and send and receive emails throughout the passage without problems using Airmail. We did not really try long distance HF voice communications as we did not need it but we were receiving marine ham networks quite well.
I also noticed that the Sailmail Primer FAQ has been reworded regarding the KISS issue. It does not strongly recommend against it anymore but simply mentions the possibility for added RF interferences.
For what it's worth...
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Old 17-12-2014, 09:42   #8
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Re: Is a Dynaplate worth it for HF SSB?

Bob, I've done a bunch of successful installation on our own boat and many others. IMO, a dynaplate is not necessary, we have both use one and not used one. we have the KISS system and a 23 foot Morad antenna on Beach house and get excellent results. I can't see any difference in the KISS system and the backstay antenna with the dynaplate and copper straps we had on our sailboat Sea Trek. Susan is Ham operator and is the primary user of our HF radio. If you want to use the copper ground straps, start by connecting to a single bronze thru-hull and see how well things work. If you need to improve, move forward from there. I am quite sure you will get many varying opinions. Chuck
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Old 17-12-2014, 09:44   #9
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Re: Is a Dynaplate worth it for HF SSB?

Trying to run ground radials or install screen can be very difficult unless at the time of new boat construction but does provide a better counterpoise than simply a Dyna-plate in close proximity to the tuner. I have a large Dyan-plate located immediately at the step of the mast with 2/0 cable short sweeping arch connection to help dissipate energy from a lightning hit - albeit never hit yet. Mast Dyna-plate is also connected to the internal radials as well have an additional Dyna-plate in the stern in close proximity to the tuner. Engine block also attached to the grounding system using tinned wire (battery cable). Antenna is a insulated backstay. Installation on a boat is more "art" and not so much "science" simply because of the physical constraints of installation vs. theoretical antenna field efficiency. Amateur radio operators can communicate worldwide by using small coil/whips on cars and trucks. Almost any installation will work to some degree if the distance is local ground wave or the ionosphere will support the skip/frequency usage at any given time per day or night.
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Old 27-01-2015, 15:47   #10
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Re: Is a Dynaplate worth it for HF SSB?

I have the dreaded KISS and GAM combination on my boat. I installed it almost 2 years ago. I am a real world example that this combination DOES work. The only complaints I get is that I am booming in! I am in Mexico right now and work a daily net with a couple of other guys local to me. It is a rare thing that either of them can hear someone that I cannot. And NEVER have I had someone hear one of the other boats here but not hear me. I just spent a few weeks talking to a boat 3 times per day all the way to Hawaii. If you are looking at a KISS and/or a GAM backstay antenna - do NOT let the naysayers scare you away - they WORK, they are simple to install, and they are very price competitive.

When I was researching my purchase I was very confused until I finally figured out that the people saying these systems don't work don't own them and never tried them. One other "concern" I have heard about the GAM is the windage - last summer we were in 45 knots sustained with gusts in the mid 50s with no problems at all.

If you are installing an SSB on your boat, you cannot go wrong with the KISS and/or the GAM antenna. If you still want a dynaplate, that works too. Just be prepared for the associated maintenance.
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